Five Unpopular Things I Enjoy Doing with My Kids

As I was recently commiserating with some other parents about the challenges of parenthood, I learned that, while I certainly have my struggles, there are a few things that seem to stress out other parents that I actually enjoy.

Homework

Granted, my kids do most of their homework independently, but my oldest will typically come to me for help with essays or ask me to review social studies with him the night before a test. My youngest consults me when he has a project requiring arts and crafts. Homework time can be stressful for many families, but I enjoy it. It allows me to geek out with them over topics I find interesting. As a former history teacher, I enjoy discussing historical events with my oldest, and I have fun helping my youngest’s creative vision come to life on his projects.

Dining Out

I know a lot of parents who find it difficult to enjoy a meal at a restaurant with their kids in tow. While it wasn’t always easy when my kids were younger, it was worth it to push through and get them used to acting appropriately and waiting patiently. Now, at ages 10 and 7, we take the kids to upscale restaurants sans screens and devices and truly enjoy the experience. Unlike eating at home, there is nothing else going on in a restaurant to distract us from the company of one another, so the table really serves as a touchdown space for all of us after a busy week of work and school.

Playing with Them

Like most parents, I have a lot going on. It’s hard to put down the dishes or laundry when the kids are calling you because they’re bored. However, I’ve come to appreciate spending time with my boys and love it when they ask me to play a board game with them or join them for a few Mario Kart races. I even got into Pokemon Go because of them.

Running Errands

I don’t mind taking my kids to the grocery, shopping for clothes, etc. I enjoy teaching them about different cuts of meat or how to calculate sales tax. I like taking them shopping for clothing because it’s interesting seeing what they like. My boys have distinctly different clothing preferences, so I like to see the different outfits they choose. I want them to understand important tasks like planning and shopping for meals and selecting appropriate attire for different occasions.

Checking Out of School Early for Appointments

While pediatrician check-ups and dentist appointments aren’t exactly thrilling, I’ve come to enjoy leaving work early and checking them out of school for these visits. We make an afternoon of it, stopping to grab lunch or swing by Barnes and Noble. It gives us an opportunity for some one-on-one time, which is something I don’t have often enough with each kid.

We are far from the picture-perfect family. These moments together aren’t without their challenges. There are days when no one feels like homework and errands no one feels like running. There are instances where I’d rather just power through the mountains of laundry than play with the kids. Still, the vast majority of the time, I like connecting with my kids in these ways that don’t seem very popular amongst my mom friends.

What do you think? Do you have mundane tasks you enjoy with your kids?

Alyson lives in Metairie with her husband, Patrick, their 10- and 7-year-old boys, and their Morkie, Beignet. After teaching for almost ten years, she left a career in education, earned her BSN, and now works as a pediatric emergency nurse. In her free time, Alyson enjoys flipping furniture, writing, dancing, and painting. She is always looking for a racquetball partner and loves streetcar rides and playing board games with her family. A good cook, she is constantly on a quest to answer the age-old question, “What’s for dinner?” but has thus far been unsuccessful.

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